What to know
The W. M. Smith and Sons Store in Birdeye, while no longer open, remains an iconic symbol along the Crowley’s Ridge National Scenic Byway. The store was established in the early 1900s as part of the enterprises of William Maurice (W. M.) Smith, son of two early Cross County pioneering pioneer families, Thomas Benton Smith and Nancy Elizabeth (Bettie) Levesque Smith. W. M. Smith and Sons (W. Maurice Smith Jr. and James Harmon Smith) were merchants, planters, livestock dealers, and owners of Black Angus Farms in Birdeye.
Originally the store was located on the opposite side of State Highway 42, about a one-half mile to the west at the edge of Pope Creek (historically Walnut Creek). It was rebuilt in its current location, adjacent to the Smith farming headquarters offices, in the late 1940s-early 1950s. Until recently, it served up some great lunches and southern hospitality. Though closed, there is hope that it will see new life at some point in the future.